Tiling bathroom floor help

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by hollyb96, Dec 29, 2020.

  1. hollyb96

    hollyb96 Member

    Hi, im going to be tiling a bathroom for the first time. Im really handy so i think i will be ok doing it myself. Im doing loads of research on the best ways to do it. I have watched loads of videos for the floor tiling but the issue im having is it seems for most house things americans do it differently so ive been trying to watch videos of just UK people. The issue is that all the UK people ive watched have used PVA on top of plywood and from my research apparently thats a bad way to do it and not the way to go. American videos ive watched have applied membrane (usually by schluter ditra) onto the plywood then the tiles on that. Is that the way to go? Ive also seen people talk about hardie board? What are peoples recommendations? Im renovating an entire flat to resell so i definitely dont want to cut corners but i do want to try and save money
  2. Jiml86

    Jiml86 Screwfix Select

    On a bathroom floor ditra or similar is excellent. It is waterproof and in the case of going over plywood acts absorbs movement in the subfloor thereby stopping any cracking etc. If you are considering going straight over the plywood (which I assume is what’s in place) then I would recommend SBR or another latex primer over PVA.
  3. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

    SBR on top of ply, not PVA. They look similar but behave very differently.
  4. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Screwfix Select

    It can be done, but tiling directly onto bare (primed) plywood is not ideal. As mentioned, Ditra or a thin backer board on top is a much better substrate for tiles. This can raise the level quite high however.
    If your floor has minimal movement you could possibly omit adding plywood altogether and use a thicker cement/backer board directly onto the existing floor (assuming you're adding extra ply for strength).
  5. hollyb96

    hollyb96 Member

    Thanks for your help! SBR seems like it would be quicker and easier (and cheaper) but would one of the other options be better? Im not sure what is under the tiles currently because i havent even bought the flat yet (estate agents is closed until the 5th) but if there is already hardie board or ditra under it when i remove tiles can i tile onto that or would i need to remove and replace?
  6. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    I would suggest that your 'jumping the gun' a little here as you say, you have no idea what's under the current tiles as you haven't yet moved in but, fair play to you - makes perfect sense now to do the research into preferred methods

    If current tiles are laid onto any matting, this will then be scrapped when you remove the tiles and new mating required
    If tiles laid onto cement board or ply, just depends how well they were originally stuck down and how cleanly they come up

    You can't be laying new tiles onto any surface that has lumps and bumps of tile adhesive stuck all over the place and removing it can be tricky and cause more damage to what's underneath
    Realistically, if tiles have been laid onto matting, ply, cement board, etc, better to rip up the lot - get back to a clean subfloor and then start with fresh materials

    6mm cement board would be a good start. Thin screed of tile adhesive over subfloor (floorboards or chipboard sheet ?), cement boards pushed into adhesive and screwed to floorboards. Wipe over with damp cloth to remove muck and dust, then tile away. But,,,,, subfloor needs to be solid with very little to no bounce to it otherwise cracked grout/tiles is a future possibility

    If timber subfloor in good condition, very little to no bounce, then just using Ditra Mat, set over boards using modified thinset adhesive is an option and keeps finished floor level as low as possible
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  7. Jiml86

    Jiml86 Screwfix Select

    If you are pulling up tile which has been correctly set all bar a concrete subfloor will have to be removed and even that will have to be scraped and or levelled

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